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Crosby vs Ovechkin

Updated on August 12, 2010
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Since both of them stepped onto NHL ice in 2005 the unrelenting question was raised, Crosby or Ovechkin? Crosby and Ovechkin have seemed to pass the torch back and forth for the past few seasons. Everyone has their own opinion on the subject, but here is the definitive breakdown of the winner thus far in the debate. We will review both players individually as well as together in four categories; individual awards, team success, regular season statistics and playoff statistics.

Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby was born August 7, 1987 in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. After two seasons in the QMJHL Crosby was drafted 1st overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2005 NHL entry draft. Crosby was the only player in the 2005 draft to jump straight to the NHL and immediately made an impact with the Penguins, scoring 102 points in his rookie season. Crosby shared his rookie spotlight with the Russian superstar Alexander Ovechkin, who edged Crosby out to win the Calder Trophy for top rookie.

Crosby has continued his regular season success consistently finishing at the top or near the top in scoring. The biggest accomplishments of Crosby’s career come from his team’s success. He was named the youngest captain in NHL history and led the Penguins to two Stanley Cup finals and won the Stanley Cup in 2009. At the 2010 Winter Olympics Crosby scored the gold medal game winning goal in overtime. Crosby is one of the most decorated players and some consider him the best in the NHL.

Alexander Ovechkin

Alexander Ovechkin was born on September 17, 1985 in Moscow, Russia. He was drafted 1st overall in the 2004 NHL entry draft, but the 2005 lockout prevented him from entering the league until 2006. Ovechkin started his career with an impressive rookie campaign that won him the Calder Trophy for most valuable rookie. He has continued his dominance in the league winning two Art Ross Trophies as leading scorer and the Maurice Richard Trophy as leading goal scorer among numerous other individual awards. Ovechkin Is now captain of the Capitals and has led them to two playoff appearances, both ending in upsets.

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Individual Awards

Crosby and Ovechkin both have won many individual awards; they both have won the four major awards, the Lester B Pearson, Art Ross, Maurice Richard, and The Hart trophies. Ovechkin, however has won three of these awards twice to Crosby’s one and won the Calder over Crosby during their rookie season. Although both Crosby and Ovechkin have taken home many individual awards, Ovechkin has the edge in this category.

Team Success

Since their debut’s Crosby and Ovechkin have both transformed their teams into contenders and have both become captains of their respective teams. Crosby however has a huge lead in this category. Crosby has led the Penguins to two Stanley Cup finals and has won the Stanley Cup. Crosby is also the youngest captain in NHL history. Ovechkin has helped turn around his team but has not made it past the second round in the playoffs. Team success is not necessarily indicative of the player, rather a culmination of factors. However Crosby has had more success and has been a big part of that success.

Winner: Crosby

Regular Season Statistics

Ovechkin has 529 points in 396 games giving him a 1.336 Points Per Game average. Crosby has 506 points in 371 games giving him a 1.364 PPG average. Technically Crosby is the winner in this category; however the PPG average is so close I would call it a tie. Another important statistic in determining a players effectiveness is +/-. When a player is on the ice for a goal against it is recorded as a minus 1, when they are on the ice for a goal for they receive a plus 1. Ovechkin has the edge in the plus/minus category with a career +64. Crosby has a career +/- of +45. I am not reading too much into these statistics, however, and the difference in PPG and +/- is negligible.

Winner: Tie

Postseason Statistics

Ovechkin has played 28 playoff games and scored 40 points giving him a 1.43 PPG average. Crosby has played 62 playoff games and scored 82 points giving him a 1.32 PPG average. Technically Ovechkin is the winner statistically in this category, however statistically it’s so close I would call this a tie. Ovechkin is a +14 and Crosby is a + 22, a very small insignificant difference.

Winner: Tie

Who is the better hockey player, Crosby or Ovechkin?

See results


Now for the anticlimactic conclusion, it’s a tie. Crosby and Ovechkin are too close to definitively announce a winner. Their PPG are virtually identical, where one lacks personal awards the other makes up for in team success. If I had to choose one, I would say that Crosby might have a slight edge at this point, but nothing absolute. Time will determine the winner of this matchup.

You’ve heard my conclusion, now it’s time to post your opinions. Who is better Crosby or Ovechkin?


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    • profile image

      Philipp 5 years ago

      This are all oppinions of Americans. I´m not wondering that on this comparison people vote for crosby and against ovechkin (:

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 5 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Evgeni Malkin :P

    • profile image

      Philly11111 6 years ago

      Guess we don't have to worry about Alex being in trouble now as jerseys just said, since the Pens got SMOKED by the Flyers in the playoffs. I'd give the edge to Ovechkin simply for size and athletic ability

    • profile image 6 years ago from Vancouver / Bangkok

      Alex is in trouble if his Caps face Crosby's Pens in this seasons playoff ..

    • parentsreview profile image

      parentsreview 6 years ago from Lansdowne, PA

      I hate both of these guys. Meh, I'm from Philly, so sue me;) For my money, I'd take Pavel Datsyuk over either of these two. He's got the hardware, he plays the tough minutes, and he leads his team in scoring, while doing the job in all three zones of the ice. How often do you see Ovechkin or Crosby back-checking.

      I'm just kidding. Crosby and Ovechkin are both great players, and I look forward to seeing them play. It's great that the league has so much talent.

      Great hub! Great Research!

    • profile image

      hockeystar 6 years ago

      ovi all the way :)

    • islandnurse profile image

      islandnurse 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      My son and I love following this "rivalry" (is it real?), and are rooting for Sidney's comeback!

    • profile image

      roma7 6 years ago

      Both are outstanding players. But my vote goes to Ovechkin. He plays with more intensity than Crosby. It's also rare to see a top goal scorer in today's game applying not only goal scoring, but also hitting every chance he's got. Which makes him more fun to watch in my opinion. I think with time he will over take Crosby in trophies and medals.

    • ilawyermarketing profile image

      ilawyermarketing 6 years ago from San Diego

      They are both going to be "hall of famers" in my opinion i believe Ovi is much more aggressive and is my favorite of the two, but Crosby has the hardware (Lord Stanley's Cup of course) to suggest that he is the winner of this comparison.

    • sisterofdummy profile image

      sisterofdummy 7 years ago

      They are both very good. Ovechkin may win this year because of the blind-side hit Crosby took in the

      Winter Classic which led to his concussion.

    • webtwilight profile image

      webtwilight 7 years ago

      Good article, at this time Crosby is by far the #1 player in the NHL. Ovechkin has not done much this year. His name hasn't been mention much at all this year.